I was lazing around one day, contemplating my newest plot for with which to take over the world, when I found my thoughts wandering to the topic of my own repertoire of works when I realized that the only cohesive story I'd ever written to that point was Total Shock. Upon realizing this, I tried to imagine a few storylines for the characters of Ranma 1/2 separate of Total Shock. This is more or less a practice run, to help me on my flaws (I'm well aware of those by the way).
EDIT: Now with slight revisions, as of August 7, 2008!
A manga/anime fan from this world is once again killed for the sake of sticking his soul into some an important role of his favorite manga so that he can "fix" it. How is Nerima going to deal with this new addition of insanity? By responding in kind, of course…
Disclaimer: None of the series, characters, or locations mentioned in this story are owned by the author of this story unless stated otherwise. Any events, places, or people resembling real life events, places, or people are coincidental, and if you think I went out and scoped out a particular thing to copy you're insane.
Brian knew only the sensation of weightlessness as he fell towards the rapids at the bottom of a waterfall. His father had taken the entire family out camping to some remote forest, and they were out on what his father had called a 'pleasure hike'. He'd been warned to be careful; after all, the dangers they faced were very real, but Brian was not really one to respect nature. As a person who believed in only himself, nature was just another one of those things beneath his notice.
Walking across what appeared to be a shallow stream of violently rushing water, Brian slipped and fell on one of the slippery rocks. He was almost instantly gone from the group, and the fact that he wasn't the best swimmer did not help at all. There were no stray trees that bent over in an oh-so convenient way, no stray logs to climb upon and try to reach the land. So of course, when the river pulled him towards it's outlet that happened to be a steep enough waterfall to warrant the words extremely dangerous, he did all he could.
Well, he screamed like a sissy too, but that was beside the point.
It was confusing beyond words to him. His own mortality had been something that he'd tried to ignore as much as possible when alive, but it was very hard to ignore the fact that you were made of the same flesh and bones as every other living human on the planet when you were screaming towards your death. That whatever higher forms of life saw fit to end his life before it could truly start was one of the most unfair things he could imagine happening. It had, however, and death was something that no amount of intelligence or accomplishments could prevent, at least, not those as petty as his.
That had been at least an hour ago.
Now, however, he was surrounded by an unfamiliar blackness and there was an odd sensation around his entire body. It was…warm and…very wet.
'This can't be death,' He thought to himself for the nth time. 'I mean, death is always described as being cold and dark.' He tried to look around but wasn't able to do much. 'This just feels weird. There's no pain or anything. Huh, and this is what so many people are afraid of? How pathetic,' He slowly became more aware of the annoying, incessant wailing of an infant. 'Took a while to figure it out.' He opened his eyes, wondering why the gods had deemed his own personal hell that of a baby's eternal wails when he realized just where he was.
He was staring up at a gigantic face that had an oddly familiar mask covering it's lower half. He was mildly aware of some voices around him but could not make most of it out because of the child's crying. A hint of surprise overcame him and a quick glance around the room told him all he needed to know.
'Oh shit.' He looked around a few more times in confusion. 'This better not be what I think it is,' He thought angrily. Unfortunately, another quick glance around the room and the way he knew he was being handled he knew it wasn't something in his power to fight.
Five years later…
Ranko sighed at her twin brother, watching him perform a kata that she knew some dedicated martial artists would be hard-pressed to follow. It was understandable, however; their father had reached levels far beyond the fanatical when it came to martial arts. Her mother just as much in tradition.
Nodoka had decided that she, Ranko, would uphold family honor and become the traditional docile wife(or so it seemed). She was practically forbidden from learning the art; whenever she showed interest in the art, her mother would try to distract her with something she thought a girl her age would find more interesting. Truth be told, a girl physically her age most likely would have been more interested in such things, but Ranko was anything but your usual five year old girl.
She did not want to be a cause for concern, however; she was a child, and as a child she had very little control over her own immediate future. She had long ago realized that there would be no way she could ever accompany Ranma on his trip. Not that she'd be missing much, though.
"I'll take years of feminine grooming over a pit of starving cats and a water based shape shifting curse any day, thank you very much." She shuddered.
Another five years pass…
The now ten-year-old Saotome Ranko was on her way home from her all-girls school. She easily excelled at all classes except Japanese and History so she could easily deal with most of the classes, but that was only to be expected.
She knew that life with Ranma would only get interesting after he returned and she felt there had to be something she herself could do to add to it. It was somewhat a recurring thought that she had started having when she realized just how strong the martial artists of Nerima really were(or would be, anyway). She had enough basic instruction in the art from what she could remember of seeing Ranma and her father practice.
'No way in hell am I just going to waste around as a background character like Kasumi. So what can I do?' She was walking in contemplative silence when she collided with someone, nearly falling over. She blinked and without even glancing up at the person she'd run into, she muttered a quick apology before turning to walk around them.
"Oh my," Said a familiar voice. Ranko froze immediately when she heard the man speak. "Excuse me, little girl. Have we met before?" The young girl trembled and turned around to stare at the man.
Ranko's jaw nearly dropped as her eyes took in the man's profile. The very first thing she noticed was the odd shade of hair color he had – it was purple and fell around the side of his face, but was cut short at his forehead. He looked fairly young, a bit slim and wearing a fine gray business suit with a vertically striped tie. His eyes were closed but she knew what color they would be if she could see them; purple.
"Hmm? Is something wrong?" He asked, his eyes opening to dangerous looking slits.
"Xe…Xell…" She stuttered for a second before forming the entire word. "Xellos…" Ranko's eye twitched and she turned away, a look of confusion on her face. 'What the HELL is he doing here? This is…not even the right setting…' A dangerous smile crept onto his face as his eyes bore into her.
"Oh my, but it would appear that we have met before…" He took a step towards Ranko, and she instinctively took a step back. He chuckled. "Oh, don't be afraid. I won't hurt you, little girl."
"Wh…What do you want with me?" She asked, raising an eyebrow in suspicion.
"Ah, I believe you know the answer to that," He said with a mischievous smile.
"So it's a secret then," She snorted, trying to sound brave.
"Bingo!" He smirked.
"So then…I'll…see you later, I guess?" She slowly turned away, cautious of the being standing within a few feet of her. 'As if I could do anything to him if he wanted to hurt me,' She thought. He merely chuckled, and when she turned back to look at him in annoyance, he was gone. She shrugged and blinked in surprise at what was before her.
"It's… a magic store." Ranko looked around and realized she wasn't in the neighborhood she'd been in before, but she did know where she was. "Why didn't I ever notice it before?" The girl smirked as she walked inside, feeling fairly confident about the far future.
"I should still supplement this with martial arts, though." Ranko grunted, trying to make her backpack, which weighed twice as much as it had when she'd gone in. 'At the very least, I can get up to where Akane was in the beginning,' She thought as she walked into her house before leaving her shoes at the entrance. She huffed and started towards her room, but blinked when she heard the voices of her mother and another person talking. After leaving the heavy bag in her room, she walked back to the dining room and spotted Xellos and Nodoka in mid conversation. She eyed the large "Seppuku" wall scroll rather warily (like she always did) before making her presence known.
"Ah, excuse me…"
"Oh, Ranko," Nodoka motioned for the girl to join them. "This is—"
"Xellos." Ranko frowned at him. Her mother looked slightly annoyed at being interrupted but merely nodded.
"Ah, then that spares us the trouble of introductions," Nodoka said. "Xellos-san has agreed to give you instruction on your new chosen extra-curricular activities." She nodded with a smile.
'Wait… Is she talking about the books I just got? How does he know what I... Wait, what does she know?' Ranko stared at the two for a little while before answering. "O…kay…"
Another year went by…
"I'm sorry, but father is no longer offering formal instruction," Kasumi had an apologetic look on her face as she turned away the first request to learn at the Tendo Dojo in years.
'Ah, I forgot. That's right, Soun stopped when his wife died…' Ranko looked up at the older girl in mock confusion. "Aaa…Um, but if it wouldn't bother you too much, could you tell him that Saotome Ranko is here? It's a matter of family…business."
"Ah…" Kasumi frowned as she considered the importance of this 'family business'. "I will go get him." Kasumi motioned for the younger girl to come in
The older girl nodded before she disappeared back into the house. Ranko remained standing at the door however, and didn't have to wait an entire minute before a man with long hair and a thick mustache appeared before her.
"Yes, can I help you?" The man said with a hopeful look on his face. Ranko raised an eyebrow at this.
'He's already waiting for them? Huh.' She shrugged. "My name is Saotome Ranko. It's a pleasure to meet you." The girl made a deep bow, then stood up and looked him in the face. "How to begin…Tendo-san, you know of my father, Saotome Genma, correct?"
"Genma," He nodded. "How could I forget? We trained under the same master and our styles are complementary of one another." Ranko inwardly chuckled while outwardly, she was trying her best to look hopeful.
"Well, you see, my father began training me in the Art a while back," She started. "But unfortunately, he was not able to continue, as he left on an extended training trip with my dear brother," Ranko put on her best sad expression and continued. "We haven't heard from them in years, but I figure they'll be back within another five."
"Five years? You're sure?" Tendo asked looking rather hopeful.
"Without a doubt," She nodded. Soun looked relieved. 'I guess I just took a load off of his back, or something,' she thought to herself. "As I was saying, they'll be back, and…well you see, mother has not been able to find a capable instructor for me to continue father's training, and I fear that I have lost my own proficiency in the art while stagnating…"
"So you wish to study under me so that your father and brother aren't disappointed in you when they return," the man said, filling in his own blanks. Ranko feigned surprise, then nodded vigorously. "Well, normally…normally, I would not consider taking a student…"
"I have money…" She started in a faux desperate voice.
"Nonsense!" Soun held up a hand. "You're a friend of the family--"
"I insist. It would be wrong for you to lose profit just because we're acquaintances."
"…I see," The Tendo patriarch favored her with an appraising look. 'So unlike her father,' "…Well then, I believe we can work something out." His face lit up with a smile as they began negotiating.
Five years after her first encounter with the Tendo family, Saotome Ranko was walking towards the Tendo Dojo with her friends Akane and Nabiki. All three were wearing the Furinkan High School girl's uniform. Ranko kept her hair undone and it fell past her shoulders..
"So," Nabiki started. "When exactly is your brother supposed to show up?" She looked up at her sister and the Saotome girl, both of whom were walking on the metal fence on their way home. The red head had suggested it as a means for training, and though both stumbled quite a few times in the beginning, it was now something that they could do without thinking.
"I'm not quite sure," The red haired girl said with a thoughtful look. The shorter girl ducked to dodge a punch from the youngest Tendo, kicking back at her in retaliation. She turned around to face her friend and back flipped along the fence to get a fair distance away from her. "All I know is that they said it was going to be a ten year trip. They could be here by the end of the year or tonight, beats me really," she said with a shrug as she continued walking backwards. She sensed the end of the fence nearing and back flipped again, this time landing on the ground. Akane followed with a somersault, and the whole thing might have impressed anyone but the three present.
"That's good enough, I suppose," Nabiki shrugged.
The very next day, Ranko and Akane were in the Tendo Dojo, taking a break from their sparring, when Nabiki poked her head into the dojo.
"Father said he had something to tell us." The middle Tendo sister said.
"For us?" Akane asked.
"Not Ranko, She doesn't have to come."
'Pfft, as if I'll miss this,' the red haired girl thought, suppressing a smirk. "I'll go. It sounds interesting if it's for all three of you."